In a major development that may have far-reaching impact on the disruption of hospital services through frequent calls for “doctors’ strike” by Indian Medical Association (IMA) and other influential medical groups, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mr. S.A. Bobde in Supreme Court of India admitted a “Contempt” petition and issued notices against the IMA and Union of India. This Contempt case was filed by PBT following a nation-wide “doctors’ strike” called by the IMA earlier this year to demonstrate solidarity to the strike called by doctors at NRS Hospital in Kolkata. Countless patients in government hospitals, many from poor families, suffered pain, injuries and even deaths because of disruption in hospital services due to this strike by doctors.
In 2014, another three-judge bench in the Apex Court passed a final judgment (in response to a separate PIL against the IMA by PBT) holding that doctors should not resort to “strike” under any condition and medical councils must take disciplinary action against the striking doctors. Despite such categorical direction from the highest court of the land, IMA has continued to call “doctors’ strike” holding the vulnerable patients at ransom in order to settle their scores against the government to satisfy valid (e.g. against mob violence) as well as purely selfish (e.g. seeking raise in salary) grounds. Although PBT has always objected to any physical attacks on our healers, no patient deserves to suffer or die as a result of strike by doctors. This unprecedented “Contempt” petition was filed by PBT to bring justice for the hapless patients of India (see the news below).